As Operation Odyssey Dawn continues over Libya’s skies the coalition has suffered its first tangible loss in its effort to establish a no-fly zone.
A US F15 fighter jet crashed overnight near Benghazi, after what officials said was a likely mechanical fault.
The two crew members escaped and are now reported to be safe after being rescued.
One eyewitness said: “We saw this plane roaming around the area of Abyar at around 1:00am. We heard an explosion later on. Another plane was roaming around it after it had exploded. At first we thought that it was a rocket.”
The crash comes as criticism of the western allies policing of Libyan skies appears to be growing. China, along with Russia, Brazil and India, condemned the US led air strikes as risky and unwarranted overreaching by the West.